You are descending from an alpine rock climb when your left foot lands on a loose rock and your ankle rolls outward causing you to cry out in pain and fall. After shedding your pack and resting for a moment, you find that your ankle's ROM, while painful, is almost fully intact. After removing your approach shoe, a physical exam reveals tenderness below and in slightly in front of the lateral malleolus (see photo). Although painful, you are able to stand, bear weight, and walk. There are three, steep, downhill miles remaining on the climber's trail before reaching the parking lot and your car.
What's wrong and what should you and your climbing partner do? Hint: see our blog article on Assessing and Treating Ankle Injuries in the Field, then click here to see if your are right.
Don't know where to begin or what to do? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
Looking for a reliable field reference? Consider consider purchasing one of our print or digital handbooks; our digital handbook apps are available in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Updates are free for life. A digital SOAP note app is also available.